Politico reports today that the National Republican Congressional Committee is supporting a new attack effort in support of Brendan Doherty’s campaign against David Cicilline:
The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a new campaign to expose vulnerable Democratic freshman Rep. David Cicilline’s “past fighting for child molesters and murderers.” They’ll reach out 200,000–300,000 voters with automated calls, online ads, emails and a website called www.CicillineSecrets.com. Here’s the script of the robocall: “Before taking the city of Providence to the brink of bankruptcy and deceiving voters about the city’s finances just to get himself elected, David Cicilline got rich trying to keep the most violent of criminals out of jail. The details of the crimes his clients were in jail for are too graphic to be appropriate for this phone call. It won’t matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat…you will be disgusted by his actions and know that he’s wrong for Rhode Island. To learn more who David Cicilline fights for, please visit: CicillineSecrets.com.”
The move comes after Doherty recently accused Cicilline of hypocrisy for criticizing the former state police superintendent’s commitment to protecting women.
Cicilline’s camp responded by calling the move a distraction. The Democrat has continued to link Doherty with Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans.
A Brown University poll this week was the latest to show Cicilline with a small lead over Doherty.
UPDATE 1: Cicilline has a new ad, rapping Doherty’s stance on the Democratic healthcare overhaul.
UPDATE 2: Cicilline’s campaign manager, Eric Hyers, offers this statement in response to the move by the NRCC:
David has been standing up for the middle class in Congress, protecting Medicare and women’s equality, fighting to pass the Buffett Rule and working to restore manufacturing jobs.
So now national Republicans have had to dig back 20 years to his time as a private attorney to attack him because they know people in Rhode Island do not support their policies and want a representative who will continue to stand up for the middle class. The truth is that the Megan’s Law claim was debunked in 2010 and this is a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that Doherty is a Romney Republican who is anti-choice, wants to repeal Obamacare and opposes the Buffett Rule that would ensure that millionaires pay at least the same tax rate as teachers and nurses.
Update 3: PolitiFact last year updated to “mostly false” charges that Cicilline had argued against Megan’s Law and voted against mandatory registration of sex offenders.